What is Design Matters?
Design Matters is a community of diverse professionals impassioned by great design. Members have a commitment to learning and sharing new design concepts, theories, and techniques to better themselves, their businesses, and their communities. Design Matters is an “Apple Pro Group” — similar to a computer user group, except that the focus of the group goes beyond technology alone. Members of the Design Matters community in Japan are a diverse and eclectic bunch with a wide range of professional backgrounds. The group includes an international mix of designers, developers, artists, educators, architects, students, business people, and other professionals who LOVE great design and understand its importance. Monthly meetings feature a provocative presentation in English from a design professional or a professional from another field who uses design in new or interesting ways. Everyone is welcome.
It’s about community and connecting
At its core, Design Matters is about creative people of all kinds having a safe, cool, diverse, and fun place to connect and share ideas and practical solutions related to design problems of all sorts. It’s about bringing creative people together to form a community.
Membership is free. If you’d like to be on the email list to be notified of future meetings, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your email address will be used only to send you monthly reminders of future meetings and will never be sold or shared.
Where and when do you meet?
Design Matters holds monthly meetings every third Tuesday of the month at the Apple Store theatre in Shinsaibashi (Osaka). Meetings consists of a featured presentation and some informal mingling and networking. Presentations are open to the public and anyone is welcome to attend. Meetings are held in English, as attendees come from many different parts of the world.
But I am not a designer — can I attend a meeting?
Of course! As long as you have a deep curiosity about design and want to learn how great design (such as wonderful products, systems, services, etc.) can impact your personal and professional development, then you are most welcome to attend. The atmosphere is warm, friendly and inviting. We look forward to seeing you soon!
But I don’t have a Mac, can I come to a meeting?
Yes! Most Design Matters members have Macs, that’s true. But the kind of computer you have is not the point (or even if you have a computer at all). Some presentations do deal with the application of software tools in design, but no matter what operating system you use, you will benefit from the presentation. Although some presentations may focus on the use of tools (such as Photoshop or Dreamweaver, etc.) design is much deeper than the mere use of tools. Apple may make the best tools, but whether you have a Mac, a PC, or no computer at all, you are very welcome to attend and will find the content meaningful. Design is not about tools — design is about ideas.
A brief history of Design Matters
The Design Matters Group was formed by Garr Reynolds, a former salaryman, former Apple employee, jazz musician, branding enthusiast, communications specialist, and design evangelist currently working in Japan as a marketing professor for a local private university. Garr, and his creative friends and business associates, had long thought it would be great if there was a place where Japanese and foreign designers and “design mindful” professionals of all types could come together to meet and share ideas and experiences and get inspired…in English. The idea for the name “Design Matters,” and the inspiration for the formation of the group, came from the work of management guru, Tom Peters. Tom has long preached of the need for professionals to work hard to better appreciate the importance of design and the need of all of us to be more “design mindful.” Here’s what Tom Peters says about design (ALLCAPS are his):
Thanks to the kind cooperation of our friends at Apple Computer, Inc., Design Matters meets in the coolest (and wonderfully designed) retail space in Japan — the Apple Store in Shinsaibashi.